Otherworldly

Alone at the Tavern

Del-ka Aedilis latest release is a Roman tavern table (though it will fit into many historical/fantasy scenarios) that offers a selection of single and couple animations, for male and female avatars. Some of the animations, like the eating and drinking ones, include auto-rezzing props. I setup the table in one of the builds from Fanatik’s Roman village set; this one is technically a warehouse but works nicely as a tavern as well. The decor in the background is also from Del-ka Aedilis.

Proper Roman clothing for women is pretty hard to come by in SL, so I opted for more of a fantasy look with the Pandora gown from Tres. The Celeste hair from Magika isn’t all that Roman either, but very pretty. Red hair was quite popular, often achieved with various more or less disgusting bleaching methods and then henna on top of that.

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The Queen’s Chambers

Royalty is the theme for the current round of Enchantment and Fantavatar & Moonstruck has made a chest fit for a queen, with elaborate painted decor on all sides. The chest is scripted so that you can open the lid and use it for storage. At the default size, I think you might even be able to hide a body in it, should the need arise. ;) I’ve sized it down somewhat for these photos and set it up next to a furniture set from the same creator.

The pretty gown is Alisse from Senzafine and the Maia hair another find from Magika’s 50% off sale that is still going on. The castle is one of my favourites from Fanatik, the Dungan Castle; I really love this sitting room with the large fire place and have appropriated it as royal quarters.

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The Rune Tree

Just a moody shot inspired by the season, dark and autumnal and with the Samhain Rune Tree from Del-ka Aedilis as the focal point. With a carved stone set in front of the tree and runes made from twigs dangling from its bare branches, it definitely fires up the imagination. Has perhaps more gruesome things hung from those branches as well?

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Forum Romanum

A little while ago, Fanatik released a wonderful collection of Roman buildings. With these, you can build your very own Roman town, with houses, warehouses, temples and a forum. There was also a package of Roman roads and a gorgeous villa Rustica, for the country lord living in style outside of the town. The textures for these sets are fantastic and they are easily resized if you find the defaults a bit too large. I am showing just a few shots here, to give a sense of the overall look of the pieces, but I am thinking of doing a video walk through of a build as well.

Another piece of Roman-inspired decor is the well bearing the SPQR inscription seen in the first two shots. It is from Del-ka Aedilis and also nicely resizable for when you’re rather short by SL standards. It looks great in the forum!

The hair is from F&M Oblivion, an elaborate updo that I don’t think was intended as Roman in style but sort of could pass for some of the braided arrangements we see on busts. My dress is from TRES for We Love Role-Play, a sleek fantasy gown with a nice ornate belt detail and a lovely back. For this release, TRES has added sizes for three new bodies, Belleza Gen X and Prima Femme Busty & Petite. I am actually wearing Prima Femme Petite for this post, together with a few of the very nice body deformers that add extra versatility to the shapes you can achieve. I will be digging into this body with a full review shortly! In the meantime, check it out at FaMESHed!

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Dragonkin

I did warn that there would be more videos for the 2022 Horse Show and here we go. With cool new idles for the horses and a fancy new cloak for myself, a video was definitely needed. Plus, it made it easier to offer a good look at the three different Dragonkin tack/mod sets from Idunn’s Clutch. I go through all the new items in the video, but for a quick and easy overview of the credits, scroll to the end of this post. On the way, you’ll pass a few photos; I am particularly pleased with the first one but the rest are pretty cool looks at the horses too.

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The Lord’s Retreat

It is much easier to shop for a female avatar than a male one, but now and then something shows up for just male avatars that I just have to have even if it means slipping on a male shape for a while. The Montague Doublet from Old Treasures is one such item; I’d love to see it for female avatars too, but I am perfectly happy to admire it on myself in male form as well. ;) But while I have a lot of great hairs for male avatars (meaning longer styles that work on men, since that’s my preference) such as this Ash style from Wasabi, I’ll definitely have to expand my collection of heads and skins if I am going to make this a habit.

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Let in Rain Down

The best kind of rain is a soft summer rain and sometimes it can feel wonderful to be on the beach when it happens, perhaps even take a swim in the rain.

Be My Mannequin’s “Feel How it Feels” pose (inspired by Stranger Things and its usage of Kate Bush’s fantastic Running Up That Hill) was perfect for the image of just sitting on the beach and letting a gentle rain wash down over you. The Lemongrass hair from Wasabi is a lovely, summery style which also comes with a hat for an even more beachy look and the Amelia shirt and shorts set from Salt & Pepper is part of their interactive Aquasense range, meaning it can go from dry to wet and vice versa when interacting with SL water and various scripted objects. Selected colours are on sale for the weekend.

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The Vision

Under a red sky cut through by lightning, the dark priestess sought to learn the future, calling up eldritch magic to do her bidding.

I love this EEP setting (Daves HD Thunderstorms 9), it is just the kind of dark drama that this scene needed. The centerpiece is the Silver Scrying Bowl from HEXtraordinary, with the magic effects coming from Dreaming Thicket. The hair from F&M Oblivion was first out at the Hair Fair and is now available at the Fantasy Room. And my outfit? Who else could it be from but Chandra Meehan of deviousMind. Its dark, sexy and full of attitude.

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The Summoning

They were not ready for what answered them…

F&M Oblivion has two cool fantasy hair styles at the Hair Fair with this one, called Selene, being the most spectacular. As it reminded me of horns as well as the curve of the moon, something magical seemed an obvious choice. Fortunately, I had just won a Discord giveaway from Petrichor for the very cool Kelstreia outfit (which consists of many more pieces than what I am showing) and I think it goes really well with the hair to sell the idea of perhaps a succubi or other demonic creature having been summoned. The summoning circle is from Roawenwood and includes animations both for a central figure and for people praying and summoning in the outer circle. Placing it deep within the cave system from Fanatik added an underworldly touch to the proceedings.

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Truthseeker

The ancient temple lies half-buried by the desert, its secrets swallowed by the shifting sands. But it is said that at times, when the wind has driven the dunes just so, the legendary Mouth of Truth is once more revealed and those who dare may approach it.

The Mouth of Truth, by Fantavatar & Moonstruck, is based on a marble mask from Rome, likely depicting the face of the titan Oceanus. It has a single pose in which your avatar sticks a hand into the mouth. In her notecard accompanying the product, Luna Barak also shares this:

“According to enduring medieval legend, it will bite off the hand of any liar who places their hand in its mouth, or, alternatively, any who utters a lie while their hand is in the mouth.”

For this scene, I made an oracle out of it instead and placed it among the Ruins by Fanatik. My Truthseeker wears the gorgeous new Pandora gown by Tres, which features three different skirt styles: solid side panels, sheer side panels and no side panels. The skin as well as the eyeshadow and the metallic tattoos are all free prizes in the Free Dove & alaskametro hunt. Don’t miss it, there’s a total of ten prizes, including one more skin. The hair is Echo by Wasabi, which comes with two style options and hair clips that can be turned on or off.

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Fantasy Faire: Forging a Friend

He laboured long and hard, employing both muscle and magic to forge a wondrous horse like no one had ever seen before. When he finally finished, wheels turned within it and a strange flow of red energy flowed amongst its iron limbs, bringing it to life.

One of the best parts of Fantasy Faire for the last few years has been the reveal of the new Teeglepet. I love my “mortal” pixel horses, but the fantastical ones are extra special. This year is no exception as Teegle brings us Aurum, the Mech horse. I love the way this one is put together, with glowing tubes and spinning cog wheels. Depending on the texture and accent colours you pick, you can capture Steampunk, Cyberpunk, etc. The skin I am showing is not the default but a really cool aged metal skin from Mythril which also happens to be an RFL donation item. The poses I am using for the horse are also by Mythril.

Aurum is also equipped with a new beta Teeglepet update that contains quite a few fixes and addons, two of which I really like the sound of:

—Horses can now have a hovertext name shorter than their object name by using “double quotes”: for example, a horse named “Tapple Gao” Patchy Blue (Shetland Stripped 2.6.69) will have name hovertext of “Tapple Gao”.

—Added driver permission mode “Group”. Only allows people wearing the right group tag to ride the horse.

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Fantasy Faire 2022 is Here

The best time of the year for lovers of all things fantasy in Second Life is here, Fantasy Faire 2022 has opened. From now until May 8th you have 20 fabulous Fairelands to explore, filled with both shopping and all kinds of entertainment. The best way to experience the Faire is to wander through all of the regions, but if time and/or lag makes that hard, there is a list of all participating stores with slurls to their booths. There’s also a

Shopping Guide which links through to galleries on Facebook where all of the RFL items are represented. Because as always, the Faire is raising money for the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life.

I’ve battled a bit of a cold to pay a quick visit to most of the sims and put together a bit of a teaser video. There’ll be more in-depth posts and hopefully more videos in the days to come, once I regain a bit of energy. You’ll find photos of the two outfits shown in the video below as well as credits for those.

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Winter Monarch

When she entered the castle, rows of ice sculptures of strange creatures greeted her. She wandered among them, marvelling at how life-like they were. Not until it was too late did she realise why they looked so real—they were not sculptures at all!

The stunning Sarah Ball Gown by HEXtraordinary looks absolutely amazing and based on the brands first forays into clothing I cannot wait to see more. The texturing is top notch and the meshes beautifully made. This particular gown is of course inspired by the gown worn by Sarah in the dream sequence masquerade in Labyrinth (raise your hands everyone who has that as a favourite scene!) and at first I wanted to capture something of that in my photos. Alas, while I know a replica of the ballroom was made in Second Life, it was many years ago and I did not buy it at the time. But then I got the idea of instead using the ice sculptures that were also made by HEXtraordinary, creating something a little inspired by Narnia instead with the help of the imposing Stalker Castle from Fanatik.

Another great release from the Engine Room is the Monarch hair by Magika. This is a beautiful updo with long tendrils framing the face and a dramatic crown with tall spikes. The latter can be turned off for a more casual look. This round of the Engine Room closes in ten days, so don’t miss out!

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Bloody Sands

I’ve featured the Ludus Magnus from Del-ka Aedilis before, but what better build to use for a bad-ass battle pose? This is another pose from Be My Mannequin?‘s set of poses for Enchantment’s Iliad and Odyssey round, this time using the included prop sword. The Ines set from deviousMind for We Love Role-Play is perhaps not standard-issue gladiator wear, but this leather-and-feather set has such a fierce attitude. The hair from Analog Dog is currently a free gift in the mainstore, in the Freeball (you need to cam around a bit to find it). I also like how the Ashlynn head from Slink came out with this expression from Vista’s Facial Bento hud.

To show off the Ludus more fully, I built up a small mountain with the help of Fanatik’s Lofoten set and placed it on top, with one of the sim surrounds from Landscapes Unlimited providing the dramatic backdrop.

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A Frozen World

The ancient ruins, perhaps the last visible remnant of a long-lost civilization, were surrounded by towering ice bergs and miles upon miles of frozen ocean. Whatever else the people who built them had left behind was buried deep beneath the ice, erasing almost every trace of them.

Fanatik has continued their winter-themed releases (which started with the Ice Plates) and added Glaciers (which include cliffs, chunks and paths) and Icebergs (which include both regular and scripted versions). As with the Ice Plates, the scripted version of the Iceberg falls apart, though not from collisions but rather over time. With these three sets, all with beautiful textures and materials, you can create fantastic winter landscapes. The ruins are also from Fanatik, the older set which comes in a summer and a winter version in separate packages.

The pose comes from Be My Mannequin’s Matrix-inspired set and includes a bullet wall prop, but the outstretched hand was just what I needed for the astronaut carefully touching the ancient ruins. The spacesuit is an older release from Anachron,  a former brand from the Dreaming Thicket.

(Also, if you haven’t read The Book of the Ice by Mark Lawrence, do. But maybe start with everything else by him first, they read best in the order they were written.)

 

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